My chorus meets during their recess time. Unfortunately, not all of the students have recess at the same time. So, in order for me to be able to eat lunch, (very important,) we alternate weeks. The 5th graders meet one week, 4th grade the next. Toward performance time I ask the 4th graders to come and join the 5th graders as soon as they’ve finished their lunch, so that they have the opportunity to practice together.
This fall we are working on 3 pieces…one of them fairly lengthy, although not too difficult.
We began with “Glo-glo-glorious” from this year’s Music K-8 magazine, issue #2. It’s a partner song that the kids got into right away. It references holidays, but is a generic piece about the wonderful, fabulous time of year that December is.
I purchased “Jingle Bell Juke Box” from J.W. Pepper.
For $69 I received a reproducible book with multiple songs, plus a cd with full performance and accompaniment only tracks. We’re working on “Sleigh Ride” which is pretty ambitious for my 4th and 5th graders. We’ve spent most of our time on this one, but they ARE getting it! I should mention that this book is actually a program with dialogue in and of itself…I’m just not using it that way. Perhaps my successor will find it useful. :0)
Lastly, I purchased “The Night Before Christmas” from Plank Road Publishing.
There are multiple options for obtaining this piece. I chose instant download + hardcopy with cd to be mailed. I did this because it is a long piece and time is quickly passing. I wanted to get started on it right away. It is, however, not difficult. The kids are fighting over who gets to be in the mouse chorus. Sigh. It’s a good problem to have though, and whoever winds up singing it, I plan to have them make some mouse ears and dress in pajamas. I’ll make a big sign on a stick that says “Mouse Chorus” with an arrow pointing down, and have a mouse in the middle of the group hold it up high. Adding some silly actions will make it complete. Gotta say, the kids are loving it.
When I have chorus sign ups in the fall I tell the kids that they are signing up through the end of December, and that I expect them to show up for rehearsals for that time. If they don’t want to sign up again in the spring that’s fine, but I expect them to take their commitment to me and to the other chorus members seriously. I don’t have too many problems, either with attendance or with spring sign ups. Most re-up, even though they are giving up a recess every other cycle to do so.
I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do for the spring, but since it will be my last program, I’m considering doing all of MY favorites from years past. I’ll let you know!
Have a great week!